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VHS to Computer

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, Multimedia, TV Tech, Uncategorized

Richard from Lindale TX writes “I have some vhs tapes that i would like to put on my computer for a class I am about to teach.  How do I do this?  Richard Brewer”

Hi, Richard, and thanks for the great question. In truth, there are several ways to do this, and here they are from the easiest to the hardest.

The first way is that if your computer has red/white/yellow (composite) video inputs, and you have a VHS player, you can hook the player directly to your computer and use something like Nero to burn them directly to your hard drive.  I’m guessing that you don’t, or you probably would have figured this out on your own, but it looks like this:

The next best way would be to get what’s called a “dongle”, which would attach your VCR’s composite output to your computer via USB.  It looks like this:

Again, once you would just use a program like Nero to do the transfer.

Probably the worst way to do this, partly because of time consumption and partly because of resources, would be to get a VHS to DVD burner, which looks like this:

You’d load the VHS tape that you want to copy in with a blank DVD and burn it.  Then you take the disc out, pop it into your computer and rip the video onto your hard drive.  Time consuming and wasteful of resources.

For most people, especially considering that you can pick up a VHS player for five dollars these days, option 2 would be the best and least expensive option. 

I hope that this helps!

~Randal Schaffer

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3 Responses to “VHS to Computer”

  1. Jan Sterling says:

    I have 2 comments – the first is about product key code – yes it can be on packaging but usually its on the cd itself and u have to write it down before you install the software.

    The second one is on converting vhs tapes to your computer – I have never seen a vcr for $5 unless u find one in a thrift store – and Worldstart used to sell a device called Easy Cap – attach one end to computer usb port and the other to your vcr – comes with software

  2. John Artrip says:

    I picked up a VCR at a flea market in Lake City, FL for a whopping $4.00. They are all over the place like that.
    I think your your suggestions 1 and 2 are just fan”dam”tastic. Thanx…..john

  3. […] In an article we did last year, we suggested Nero, but there are other products available.  This process is going to take some time. VHS files are not digital, but analog. That means you have to play the VHS tape in real time to capture the files. […]

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